Woodbury County Extension breaks ground
By JOLENE STEVENS
SIOUX CITY – Iowa State University’s Cathann Kress, vice president of Extension, found herself with considerable ground to cover Monday.
She was part of a groundbreaking in Sioux City for the new $1.2 million, 6,000-square-foot Woodbury County Extension facility.
Prior to the groundbreaking, Kress spoke to the Sioux City Rotary Club on the importance of Extension throughout Iowa.
“When you think about Iowa, you think about it as being a small state of only 3 million people, about the size of Chicago,” Kress said. “Iowa, however, has a tremendous influence nationally and worldwide.
Monday’s groundbreaking at the southeastern edge of Sioux City is “a symbol of the great support” in the Siouxland area for Extension, she said.
“We have robust and thriving programs across all facets of our program area,” Kress said. “These programs reach out to youths and to our oldest citizens of the area.
“We see, too, what our increased diversity of programs in our urban areas.”
Since 60 percent of young Iowans are living in 10 counties,” Kress said, Extension must be where Iowans are, capable of serving them.
Kress said the advent of urban-focused programs is not a reduction of it agricultural priorities.
“These programs are the largest part of our portfolio,” she said. “It is not an either-or issue.
“The wonderful support and engagement we received (in Siouxland) make it possible to continue to make sure we’re paying attention to agricultural issues and those of our rural communities.”
Lane Tabke, Woodbury County Extension chairman, and Sherry Gill, Region 5 Extension director, expressed their appreciation to new building contributors and other supporters.
Adding to the late afternoon ceremonies was a song written for the event by Woodbury County 4-H’ers, based on a poem written by club members for the occasion.
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